The campaigns of Rep. Joe Sestak and Sen. Arlen Specter accepted an offer Thureday by the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters to attend a debate in Philadelphia, likely to be held on May 1 but possibly earlier as interest in the intraparty race heats up.
Before that, however, the Pennsylvania Democratic State Party Committee will meet in February to decide which candidate will win the official endorsement of the party.
Party insiders say it looks increasingly likely Specter will get the backing, a point that has become so obvious to the Sestak campaign that Sestak staffers are not lobbying committee members to endorse Sestak, but to not endorse anyone at all, which is also an option.
The Sestak camp said it wants the congressman to participate in six debates with the party-switching Specter, one for each media market in Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia, Pittsburgh,Harrisburg, Johnstown, Erie and Scranton. Specter has only agreed to only the one debate so far.
Meanwhile, on the Republican side, Pat Toomey has the nomination all but wrapped up. The latest polling out of Pennsylvania shows Specter and Toomey in a virtual tie.